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Dylan Reviews Full Shows In This Thread


Dylan Waco
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So my wrestling related New Year's Resolution is to review more full shows. I enjoyed doing it for King of Trios even though I didn't really like at least half of the weekend, so I figured I will keep it up and dump everything into this thread unless/until I start up a blog of some sort again.

 

Show One

 

House of Hardcore, October 6 2012

 

This is Tommy Dreamer's new promotion. In theory this could be a disaster of a show based on EXTREME nostalgia and old guys phoning it in. Let's see how it turns out in practice.

 

Crowbar v. Shawn Daivari

 

This was actually a pretty good opener. It was kept short and worked back and fourth, but all the transitions made sense and were believable. Devon Storm is a guy I always liked as the geek in the neon, taking lunatic head bumps to the floor for Taz suplexes and feuding with Ace Darling for fifty years in Northeast indies, but I was never a huge Crowbar guy. Here he looks like a washed up 80's hair metal star and sort of wrestles like one too which is a big plus. His ring movements are still sharp, but he totally comes across as a grumpy old man, kicking Daivari in the balls, dropping him nastily on the guardrail, et. There was a really nice looking superplex spot and while the finish took too long, this really makes me want to see some of the other stuff from Crowbar's Great White tour.

 

FBI v. Danny Doring/Roadkill

 

I cannot stand Danny Doring as a rule, though he had a surprisingly fun match with Brodie Lee last year and he was fine in this. Is the Mamaluke/Guido FBI and is probably one of the last few matches of Mamaluke's career. Roadkill and Doring have a "young Roadkill" in their corner, and Big Sal is in the FBI corner. They do a lot of your staple comedy spots, all of which are executed okay, though having watched hundreds of ECW FanCams they don't resonate with me in any meaningful way. The FBI control segment is not bad and we get some big stuff from Mamaluke including a really nice headscissors on Roadkill, a crazy head off an overhead suplex, and a wild bump off the apron onto the guardrail for a superkick that barely connected. Roadkill and Doring won with their old finisher. Perfectly acceptable match.

 

Jazz v. Katarina Lee

 

I think Katarina is Winter/Katy Lee Burchill or whatever the hell she want by in WWE. I don't really pay attention to Divas or Knockouts wrestling so I'm not sure. Jazz does a really slick floatover escape from a headscissors into a semi-cloverleaf that is easily the coolest thing I've seen so far on this show. Over all this was decent, but did nothing to renew my interest in women's wrestling.

 

Alex Reynolds v. Tony Nice

 

These are two Mikey Whipwreck trainees and he is announced as the guest ref for the match. I was shocked to see that Mikey Whipwreck is now the spitting image of Butterbean. Seriously I didn't catch the pre-match stuff on the first go around and literally thought Dreamer had been duped into doling out the cash to get Butterbean to ref a match between two indy guys. Reynolds looks enough like Johnny Swinger that I thought he was Johnny Swinger at first. In any event these are two young guys, sent out cold on a show filled with names and "legends" and clearly looking to do something to stand out and they absolutely succeeded. I am not a big fan of your "go, go, go" style indy matches and while this has some surface level elements of that style, the way they transitioned and set up the big spots was way better than what you would see out of your average Davey Richards match. They ended up using Mikey as a way for Reynolds to work heel spots, with Mikey pointing out his cheating and getting more and more frustrated with him as the match went along. Reynolds heel work was pretty basic and his big offense is pretty Novaish, but he was decent enough. Nice is a Pac like musclehead who is a freak athlete, with pretty nice strikes and a ton of nutty spots. There is an early sequence in this where Reynolds manages to avoid two dive attempts and when he gets back in the ring Nice makes busts out this series of flips and escapes ala Low Ki/Amazing Red that eventually builds to a massive dive which gets a huge pop. That is how you build to a spot. Later they actually come up with really creative ways to get Reynolds in the face wash position and while Mikey's involvement in the finish was kind of "eh" it made sense within the context of the match and Nice still ended up winning with a big 450 finish. This was about ten thousand times better than I would have expected coming in.

 

Scott Steiner v. The Big XLG (Luke Gallows)

 

This fucking ruled. Scott Steiner comes out wearing an NWO shirt and cuts a very Scott Steinerish shoot promo on Bischoff and Hogan pre-match. Then Gallows music hits and he comes out and I'll be god damned if Eddie Kingston of all people isn't his second for some unknown reason. Gallows comes straight in and tries to stare down Steiner and Steiner goes straight to him and this is like the best possible 1999/2000 era Big Poppa Pump v. Captain Rection/Booker T match, as Gallows bumps around huge for Steiner and it spills out to the floor with Scotty beating him up with a kendo stick, the ring bell and one of those small plastic chairs that populate every kindergarten classroom in America. Gallows takes a couple of big bumps into the guardrail, one of which almost takes out the entire front row. Just when you think this is going to be a total squash Eddie Kingston (who was awesome fleeing in terror from Steiner earlier) tries to trip him off the ropes and Gallows takes his head off with a pump kick. It's Steiner's turn to return the favor on the floor and I've got to give him credit as he takes a pretty big bump into the guardrail for a semi-crippled guy, let's Kingston put him in his own finisher on the floor as Eddie rips at his face and then eats a couple of really nasty shots from the aforementioned kindergarten chair of doom. Rick Steiner shows up and chases Kingston around ringside before settling into Scott's corner, while Gallows throws sick punches at Scott's head with Scott avoiding big shots for mini-hope spots. Yes Scott Steiner is working underneath hope spots in 2012 and it's pretty good - albeit basic - stuff. Scott comes back with some suplexes and goes to finish him off with a top rope overhead suplex, when Kingston throws a cheapshot and Gallows comes off the second rope with an elbow for a near fall. Rick chases Kingston into the ring and decks him with a lariat, right as Gallows eats an STO from Scott for the finish. Extremely fun match from bell-to-bell.

 

Chris Masters v. Hale Collins

 

This segment starts off with a great heel promo from Masters and a Masterlock challenge with a plant from the crowd. Collins ends up showing up and taking the challenge himself. Of course as the hometown hero he starts to look like he will break it and Masters starts wailing on him which leads to a match. The match itself is a complete and total Masters carry job and the sort of match that almost pisses you off as the fact that he's not signed is utterly ridiculous. He controls the match well with his offense including an awesome delayed vertical suplex, is great antagonizing the crowd by strutting around like a douche after chops and sells and bumps like a champ for the extremely questionable offense of Collins. Match isn't great and has a shit finish, but it's fun to watch Masters do his thing.

 

Rhino v. Sami Callihan

 

Before I saw this match I thought Sami Callihan was arguably the best wrestler in the world in 2012. After seeing this match I think Sami Callihan was definitely the best wrestler in the world in 2012. I like Rhino fine for what he is, but I cannot remember the last time I saw a Rhino match this good. This goes about fourteen minutes and it is Sami plugging Rhino into his formula match, with some nice change ups and a bunch of surprises. This has the frantic pace of all of Sami's best matches, but I thought the transitions and big spots were really well laid out and played well to the strengths of both guys. Lots of sick stuff in this, including Sami chopping the fuck out of the ringpost, taking a massive bump onto the floor and then onto the ramp and then getting clobbered hard as fuck in the face with the kindergarten chair. Rhino goes for a running start, springboard off the chair into a gore and eats a nasty kick to the face. Then Sami hits a running hilo onto Rhino from the ramp into the ring, which is a total mark out spot for me as a WCW fan who misses the fun stuff you could do with those ramp way entrances. Sami started the match with an ambush attack and one of the things I really love about "Sami v. the vet" matches is that you get the sense in everyone of these matches that he is going for absolute broke and knows he has to bust out everything to win. Great stuff setting up the finish run as Rhino goes for a gore, but Sami catches him with a guillotine in mid-air. He fights through and hits a sick over head suplex into the corner and ends up hitting a gore but Sami kicks. Rhino survives a brief bit in the stretch muffler and then Sami kicks out of his jumping piledriver, before Rhino goes nuclear and puts him away with the jumping piledriver off the second rope. Really I cannot imagine someone having a better match with Rhino in 2012 and even in losing Callihan came across looking like a tough son of a bitch.

 

Big Daddy V v. Jobbers

 

A couple of quick squashes and then Spike runs in and hits the Acid Drop. I can hear El-P's head exploding as I type this. The weakest thing so far and this was perfectly fine.

 

Edge in ring promo. Edge puts over the history of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center where the show is being held and puts over a lot of talent, including Callihan. He talks up Tommy for doing the show a bit and then introduces The Young Bucks v. Londrick by comparing them to The Hardys and Edge/Christian. I don't like Edge but this was a good use of a "name."

 

The Young Bucks v. Paul London/Brian Kendrick

 

This is probably a dream match to some people. I actually think these teams may have worked each other before in PWG, but I'm too lazy to check. In any event this was a very good spotfest, that was helped dramatically by the fact that the Bucks actually worked a heat section first and were in full blown heel mode which is really where they excel. Too much crazy shit in this to call, but the early structure allowed for the big spots on the back end to actually come across as a big deal and I thought London in particular sold really well throughout. Londrick did there double dive spot, the Bucks hit a bunch of their big stuff include the turnbuckle powerbomb/enziguri combo, and both teams interrupted the fancier tandem spots of the other team which I thought was a nice touch. Finish with London getting the knees up on stage two of More Bang For Your Buck and then turning it into their own double finisher combo was well timed and looked really good. For matches of this sort, this is about as good as it gets.

 

Mike Knox v. Carlito v. Tommy Dreamer

 

On paper you think this could be a complete disaster, but this was actually a very fun, hardcore sprint. Dreamer is a guy who always tries hard and Carlito is a good a guy who is almost always lazy so the wild card here is Knox who now looks like a Nazi skinhead. I have been wanting to see Knox pop up since he vanished from the face of the Earth a couple of years back and while he wasn't great here, he picked his spots and looked good when he got to lay them in. Very much a car crash affair, but Carlito was unusually hyped and took a pretty crazy table and ladder bump. Knox took a nutty Ladder bump of his own and hit his big crossbody which still looks great. The finish was Tommy's turn to get fucking crushed with a nasty bump onto the ladder and then the back cracker while he was tied up in it which looked really gnarly. Much better than it looks on paper.

 

This was a shockingly good card from top to bottom. Absolutely nothing on the show was bad. They did a good crowd for this (about 2000 paid) and I could honestly see myself going to a show of their's if they continue to run. This will sound like hyperbole, but this was one of the five best shows I saw from anywhere in 2012.

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I just finished watching the show a half hour ago and it was fun top to bottom. I kinda wanted Bucks/Druggys to end after a while but London looked good and is a guy I wouldn't mind watching in 2013 a few times. Gallows needs every match of his to make youtube. Or, better yet, a WWE rehiring. Why fire him? I don't get it. He should be in Wade Barrett's position right now, and could pull off Barrett's gimmick approximately fifty seven thousand times better than Barrett. Just approximately.

I can't think of a Rhino match I like more than the Callihan match, but Rhino isn't a guy I've sought a lot of. Man Sami's output of good this year was pretty nuts.

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I just finished watching the show a half hour ago and it was fun top to bottom. I kinda wanted Bucks/Druggys to end after a while but London looked good and is a guy I wouldn't mind watching in 2013 a few times. Gallows needs every match of his to make youtube. Or, better yet, a WWE rehiring. Why fire him? I don't get it. He should be in Wade Barrett's position right now, and could pull off Barrett's gimmick approximately fifty seven thousand times better than Barrett. Just approximately.

I can't think of a Rhino match I like more than the Callihan match, but Rhino isn't a guy I've sought a lot of. Man Sami's output of good this year was pretty nuts.

Rhino had some fun sprints in the original ECW and some decent WWE tv matches, but nothing on that level or even close to it that I can remember.

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Alex Reynolds v. Tony Nice

 

These are two Mikey Whipwreck trainees and he is announced as the guest ref for the match. I was shocked to see that Mikey Whipwreck is now the spitting image of Butterbean. Seriously I didn't catch the pre-match stuff on the first go around and literally thought Dreamer had been duped into doling out the cash to get Butterbean to ref a match between two indy guys. Reynolds looks enough like Johnny Swinger that I thought he was Johnny Swinger at first. In any event these are two young guys, sent out cold on a show filled with names and "legends" and clearly looking to do something to stand out and they absolutely succeeded

I'm going to assume Tony Nice is Tony/Anthony Nese. If so then he had a little mini run in TNA in late 2011 - early 2012 so not a complete no name at this point. For whatever it's worth, both guys have worked a bunch for CZW & Evolve/DGUSA too.

 

Really I cannot imagine someone having a better match with Rhino in 2012 and even in losing Callihan came across looking like a tough son of a bitch.

Speaking of 2012 Rhino, have you seen any of the Rhino vs Harry Smith matches in Resistence pro? I saw the 1st and thought it was good but not great, and they've had others which were supposedly better. Their cage match is online but I haven't gotten around to watching yet.

 

My goal is to review that ASAP, but I'm not forking over the cash for it so it will have to pop up on youtube or as a DL first

It's allready hit the torrent sites.

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I had very little concern or cycnism about the House of Hardcore show going in. I knew everyone was going to work extra hard as besides Dreamer the Wrestler and tragic ECW homer stuff he is super respected by the naughties era of WWE wrestlers due how he treated them when they were in Developmental or on the indies when Dreamer was in Talent Relations there. Tommy is also relatively well connected and smart in general too in terms of the logistics of organising shows too.

 

Anybody watched the NJ Dome Show? The praise on the WON is beyond effusive, and I could imagine really liking Sakuraba vs. Nakamura. Not trying to hijack your thread, Dylan. I'd just be interested to see a review of the full show by someone trustworthy.

Everyone I consider trustworthy or otherwise praised the show to the heavens. If anyone dislikes the show I will really have to wonder why they bother with modern Wrestling.

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Wrestle Kingdom 7

 

Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan & Tama Tonga vs. Jado & Yoshi-Hashi & Tomohiro Ishii

 

This happened. Really came across like New Japan's answer to the placeholding six-man's they will occasionally throw together on a Raw to fill space and this is a show that didn't need space filled. Inoue is probably a wash with R-Truth and Tama might actually be better than Kofi, but Captain New Japan is a poor man's Rey to say the least. Jado is pretty awful at this point and his existence in this match almost immediately pissed me off. He's a shitty Cody Rhodes at this point which is damning. Hashi is a perfectly fine Jack Swagger. Ishii doesn't really fit the narrative, but he's better than all of these guys and really over and this was a waste of him. Not a bad match, but there are probably several hundred similarly thrown together six-man's, that got the same amount of time and have appeared on WWE tv in the last decade that smoked this.

 

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida & Bushi

 

Liger is still over in the Dome which I find comforting. Parts of this I thought were really sharp, particularly the early going even if this was obviously another thrown together match. On the other hand for a sub-ten minute match this had a lot of stuff that looked suspect or less than impressive. This will sound odd coming from me, but I would have preferred this been a balls out spotfest. Okay for what it was, but I saw two Heath Slater v. Justin Gabriel house show matches live about a year ago that looked like high end 90's NJPW junior wrestling next to this.

 

Manabu Nakanishi & MVP & Strongman & Akebono vs. Bob Sapp & Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Yujiro Takahashi

 

This kinda felt like one of those matches they throw together on Mania now to give the rest of the upper mid-card something to do, without having to take away from the semi-retired guys they are protecting. I half way expected Teddy Long and Vickie to show up pre-match and was trying to figure out who would be managing which team in my head when the match started. I actually didn't mind this at all. I would have preferred more fat man offense from Akebono and Sapp sucks horribly, but it was kept short and for match filled with useless roided guys and shit workers this was if anything better than expected. It didn't even border on being a good match, but it was watchable.

 

Masato Tanaka vs. Shelton Benjamin

 

I watched Tanaka v. Ishii from last year yesterday which is a match a lot of people liked. I thought it was worked like a Davey Richards v. Kyle O'Reilly match, but with more violent looking offense and slightly more (that is to say "some") selling. In any event I figured this would be even more ROH and it was. We even got shitty ROH style manager involvement. Short match with tons of shit that meant nothing, one of the most contrived looking spots around the ropes I've seen in recent memory and of course in true ROH form a senseless ankle lock spot right before the finish. This was short enough to be largely inoffensive but still sucked and is the worst match on a show that up to this point that has been filled with random multi-men matches featuring roid freaks, cast offs, old farts and sub-Lash Leroux juniors. For "go, go" matches something like Tyson Kidd v. Hunico series from last year laps this several times over.

 

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Karl Anderson & Hirooki Goto

 

I wanted to like this because I like the idea of the Smith/Archer team on paper and haven't found a match of their's yet that I think delivers on their potential. Instead they have the look of a poor mans 3MB and don't put their matches together nearly as well. To be fair I didn't hate this, but I am a guy who wants structure in his tag matches not spots galore. They teased the structure early but then this felt really rushed and all about getting big shit in and it just annoyed the fuck out of me. I'll take The Colons v. The Uso's over this every time.

 

Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki

 

I am a guy who really loves grumpy old man wrestling so I expected that I would like this. Sure Nagata is comically overrated by some, but I don't hate the guy and he's been involved in plenty of things I've enjoyed over the long haul. And Suzuki is the guy that made me enjoy a Tanahashi match. So this had some major positives working in it's favor. At the end of the day I wasn't disappointed and this worked well. I wasn't in love with interference spot on the floor early, but Nagata getting choked out with the chair was a cool visual and Suzuki's cocky posturing is one of the better parts of his act. I enjoyed the work around Suzuki's rear naked choke, even if it wasn't worked that tight and I dug the fact that they worked a couple of hope spots in for Nagata before he finally made his comeback and went to the arm. I'll never be a fan of the "stand in the ring and take turns in cooperative fashion striking each other" spots, but that's a staple of Japanese wrestling at this point so it seems worthless to complain about it and it was used as a vehicle to give Nagata more hard shots to Suzuki's arm. I also really liked the finish with Suzuki making one last gasp for his finishes, eating a sick slap and giving the modified "Dick Murdoch v. Inoki KO look" before eating the backdrop suplex finish. For matches involving grizzled veterans worked around stiffing each other, making funny faces and arm work/submissions/submission counters this wasn't as good as Ron Garvin v. Greg Valentine from Royal Rumble 1990. On the other hand this was definitely better than the old man respect struggles from the last two Manias and it was a good match.

 

Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi

 

Why is Low Ki wrestling in a suit? I assume there is some storyline reason that I don't know about or perhaps it's some sort of symbolism that escapes me. I guess maybe this was some Japanese gangster flick tribute? Anyway this had a lot of really good looking shit, and was perfectly fine for a spotfest of this sort. The stuff on the ramp had a nice visual effect to it, especially with Ki fighting in his get up. I also enjoyed his "tossing the jacket as dropping the strap" spot even if it was after one of the most egregious no sells of a huge move I've seen in recent memory. The big spot with Ibushi blocking the tree of woe double stomp looked really good too. They found a pretty good way to take one guy out so they could go to the finish and I actually liked that Devitt - who really seemed in the background for the whole match - basically survived by stealing a win. For spotfest involving guy working in dress clothes I may have liked Corino v. Brisco better. That also had the crazier spot and sicker finish. But I thought for the sort of match this was it was good and it is a rare triple threat that actually felt like it was a better match because it wasn't a singles.

 

Keiji Muto & Shinjiro Otani vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

 

Everytime I see Ohtani I get depressed as I don't know if there is anyone in wrestling who's "look" has so radically changed from the image I have of him in my head at his peak. This was over with the live crowd and got good heat which helped it. The work ranged from solid to pretty weak, but nothing outright embarrassing. For promoter/legends Muto looked better than HHH, but not as good as Vince. To be fair Kojima is no Punk to play off of, but that chop segment in the corner did not look good. On the other hand Ohtani's face wash bit got a great response and I really marked out for it. After that this mellowed out and Tenzan really felt like a come down when he was on offense. Ohtani was the star of this and wrestled well even if he doesn't look like I want him too. This might have gone a hair too long considering the limitations of some of the guys involved, but it was perfectly fine over all.

 

Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata

 

Boy this was disappointing. On paper I thought this had potential to be a show stealer if things broke right. Shibata looked pretty good in it at times, but man Makabe's selling was just absolute dog shit. That dueling back drop suplex spot pissed me off but I would have been okay with it if that asshole would have looked the least bit bothered at any point int he match when on the defensive. He didn't. The table spots were okay I guess, but this really wasn't any good at all. As brawls of this sort go every Sheamus v. Big Show match in the few months destroys it.

 

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

 

This was the match I was most looking forward to even before the hype as Nakamura is one of my favorite guys in New Japan and I wanted to see how he would play in this setting. I watched a match with him and Ishii v. Sakuraba/Shibata last night and he was clearly the odd man out and had no clue what the fuck was going on at times, which made me a little nervous, but I was still excited to watch this. Turns out there was no reason to be nervous because this was really fucking good. Sakuraba in particular was great in this. I loved the theme of him escaping the more typical pro wrestling positions and reversing them into submissions or huge attacks. Obviously the knee after the blow off of the German was an appropriate "fuck you," but I also thought the spot where he saved himself off the ropes was great, as was the escape of the go behind. All the big strikes looked absolutely crushing. I really wanted him to bust out the Mongolian chops but you can't always get what you want. I also thought Sak barely being held down by the big knee was the right finish. This could have and should have been a bit longer but it was still pretty great. Not as good as Lesnar v. Cena but not much is.

 

Tanahashi vs. Okada

 

Man did this feel long. I didn't hate this, but this is a match I never want to watch again. Tanahashi's offense is just not convincing at all to me. I thought Okada was decent enough as he usually is. Not outstanding but he's charismatic, works hard and at least tries to sell. But it's hard for me to take anyone seriously working underneath Tanahashi, unless they are taking great bumps and their selling is off the charts and Okada was doing neither. I honestly can't believe that the same sort of people who bitch about the offense of John Cena, have not problem with that trash bag hooking clothesline Tanahashi uses all the time. Some of the big spots looked good and some didn't really work. I did like the fact that they didn't bury The Rainmaker as a finish by allowing Tanahashi to survive it, but I also think the wrong guy went over and not just because I don't like Tanahashi. I guess for people who like this sort of match it was good, but I don't like this sort of match and for upstart star v. established ace series and matches Cena v. Punk has been about fifty thousand times better.

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

Eh I don't know. I get that New Japan is "hot" right now with a certain sort of hardcore fan and that this was there big show, but I don't think this was even close to a great show. I've been pretty down on three hour Raws, but the first hour and a half of this show was clearly worse than the wrestling portion of the average three hour Raw to the point where I really can't imagine that being a controversial statement, even though I suppose people will read it as a troll. I did think the show was pretty well paced and put together in the ring order which gave it a good flow. From Suzuki v. Nagata forward the show was more good than bad, but there were only three matches on the whole show I would really classify as good matches. On the other hand there was nothing that was the duel combination of offensively long and horrible which is something I always fear on modern Japanese shows. Okay show. Best show ever is an insane statement that strikes me as the sort of hyperbolic statement we hear every year after Mania when WWE fans get the highs they want out of a show but aren't thinking in a broader context. Great show is a massive stretch, though I suppose if you were super invested in some of the stars or the style it might fit. Good show? I'm not even sure I'd go that far. It was watchable and didn't feel like a waste of time, but if I were getting Observery I would go "Thumbs In The Middle" and by Observer Awards standards I'd already have it safely behind TLC in the "Best Major Show" category.

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I had very little concern or cycnism about the House of Hardcore show going in. I knew everyone was going to work extra hard as besides Dreamer the Wrestler and tragic ECW homer stuff he is super respected by the naughties era of WWE wrestlers due how he treated them when they were in Developmental or on the indies when Dreamer was in Talent Relations there. Tommy is also relatively well connected and smart in general too in terms of the logistics of organising shows too.

 

Anybody watched the NJ Dome Show? The praise on the WON is beyond effusive, and I could imagine really liking Sakuraba vs. Nakamura. Not trying to hijack your thread, Dylan. I'd just be interested to see a review of the full show by someone trustworthy.

Everyone I consider trustworthy or otherwise praised the show to the heavens. If anyone dislikes the show I will really have to wonder why they bother with modern Wrestling.

 

Does this mean I'm not trustworthy? :)

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I had very little concern or cycnism about the House of Hardcore show going in. I knew everyone was going to work extra hard as besides Dreamer the Wrestler and tragic ECW homer stuff he is super respected by the naughties era of WWE wrestlers due how he treated them when they were in Developmental or on the indies when Dreamer was in Talent Relations there. Tommy is also relatively well connected and smart in general too in terms of the logistics of organising shows too.

 

Anybody watched the NJ Dome Show? The praise on the WON is beyond effusive, and I could imagine really liking Sakuraba vs. Nakamura. Not trying to hijack your thread, Dylan. I'd just be interested to see a review of the full show by someone trustworthy.

Everyone I consider trustworthy or otherwise praised the show to the heavens. If anyone dislikes the show I will really have to wonder why they bother with modern Wrestling.

 

Does this mean I'm not trustworthy? :)

 

I think we can compare and contrast Dylan's initial show he watched in this note and this one and appreciate that he's definitely found other reasons to bother with modern wrestling.

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Pro Wrestling Syndicate 5th Anniversary Night Two

 

Pinkie Sanchez v. Mike Dennis

 

My god Sanchez is terrible. Dennis isn't anything special, but Sanchez is just the worst kind of awful. Really awful selling, terribly exaggerated bumps that don't even look good on a theatrical level, awful "look at me" schtick that oozes "this is fake," poor timing, and offense that ranges from jerkoff indy to outright terrible in execution. I have never liked the guy, but I don't remember him being this terrible. Dennis gets his leg worked on briefly and then promptly rattles off a string of offensive moves directly dependent on the leg and I don't even care because I can't imagine Sanchez legwork hurting a four hundred and fifty pound woman with fybermyalgia. Thankfully this was pretty short, but it was one of the more uniquely terrible attempts at a straight wrestling match I've seen recently.

 

Taka Suzuki v. Starman v. AR Fox v. Samuray Del Sol

 

If you haven't seen Starman, I'm not sure I can do him justice. It's a comedy gimmick to be sure, but it falls more on the Santino end of comedy, than the Chikara end of comedy. I'm not sure I really liked it, but a guy in a pink bodysuit who is willing to get stiffed pretty hard and actually bump is more interesting to me than Darkness Crabtree. In any event Starman is treated as semi-credible in this but is mainly used to break momentum and set up different segments with other guys. On some level this a pretty standard spotfest with all four guys hitting some big spots well, some silly over bumping, rope running spots and guys doing a poor job of catching each other on the drive train. On the other hand the personalities are all different enough where I didn't get as bored as I often do with these matches. This wasn't any good, in fact big parts of it kind of stunk, but I didn't hate watching it.

 

Scott Steiner v. Dan Maff

 

Steiner coming into this fucking Rec Center or whatever the hell it is on a Harley is one of the most overblown and awesome indy entrances I've ever seen. On paper this looked pretty interesting and seemed like the sort of match that could have been a ton of fun on a JAPW show assuming Steiner was motivated. As it was this was pretty disappointing. They worked a fairly basic match and really lost the crowd after they teased some crowd brawling, only to go straight back to the ring after one big Maff bump. The highlight was really Scott violently cursing out the ref multiple times and the aforementioned entrance.

 

Simon Dean v. Phantasio

 

Holy shit what a pairing. Phantasio is a guy doing a magic mime gimmick and pulls a huge chain thing out of his throat pre-match, while his half naked valet saunters around in heels. Meanwhile Dean is busy trolling the crowd into doing exercises and recoiling in terror when the referee tries to pat him down. Dean - who is wrestling in his warm up jacket because he's so fat - then hits the ropes and comes off into web that Phantasio has shot at him. When Dean gets back into the ring Phantasio's valet pulls a wand out of cleavage. Which results in the longish "slow mo" style Chikara spot I've ever seen. Dean eventually lands on the wand and then destroys it and we go back to full speed and a few seconds later Phantasio absolutely decks the ref which I think is odd since a guy with these sort of powers would presumably be A. able to throw a clothesline that looks painful or B. have some sort of psychic skills that enable him to avoid the contact with the official. In any event we get a few more tricks and then Phantasio manages to win. For a cooperative comedy match this was perversely entertaining, though not something I would ever watch twice.

 

Kai v. Tony Nese

 

I liked Nese a lot v. Alex Reynolds on that House of Hardcore show but my god was he bad here. Tons of spot running, grunting more than an 80's Joshi star, throwing really shitty looking knees and kicks. Kai isn't any good either, but Nese was like a totally different wrestler here from what I saw the other day. These guys are in the middle of an absurdly long and boring strike exchange when the bell rings on a fourteen minute "time limit draw." Thank god.

 

Brittney Savage v. Alexxis Nevaeh

 

Brief and shitty match. The bar is really low for me at this point on this show and all I wanted here was semi-well executed stuff and maybe a single stand out spot. I got neither. Garbage.

 

Tommy Dreamer v. The Sheik

 

This was a total "Dreamer's greatest hits" garbage match. Dreamer is someone who always tries hard, which means very few of his matches are truly awful. Still this was not the Dreamer I want to see, as I prefer him in tags or in shorter matches where he can get a in a few spots, get crotched on a railing and then go home. To be fair The Sheik who is usually shit bumped well for his stuff, but when you've seen the ring bell on the nuts and bottle water spots a thousand times not even good selling can save them. Tommy worked some FIP here and in some ways this was better than it could have been. Still it went on far too long and wasn't a good match by any stretch.

 

Vader/2 Cold Scorpio v. Jay Lethal/Devon Moore

 

This was really disappointing me and I consider it a huge indictment of Moore and Lethal. Yeah this isn't 1993, but if you are two indy guys and you can't have a reasonably decent match with Vader and Scorp you shouldn't be wrestling. I realize that casting Vader as a face isn't ideal, but this had no business being as "eh" as it was particularly when the two old guys looked fine (in fact Scorp looked really good at points). Only thing especially interesting about this was the finishing run of offense from the faces.

 

Dynomite v. Freight Train

 

I don't know what the fuck the story of this match was or why Jake Manning was the ref but this might be the worst wrestling match I've ever seen. I actually don't think their was an offensive move in the entire match that truly connected. I actually wasn't aware it was possible to have a match this shitty from beginning to end.

 

Sami Callihan v. Kevin Matthews (Ladder Match)

 

Completely bizarre match, where Sami looked good in spite of the bullshit going on around him. I have no clue who was supposed to be the face in this as Sami came out and ambushed Matthews, busting him open hardway with sick looking punches right to the face while talking shit to him. Seriously this is a totally one sided mauling for the first several minutes and then the tied gets turned when Devon Moore runs in. Callihan ends up taking a bunch of big bumps for questionable Matthews offense, including a really reckless spot on a table. Callihan makes the chase back to the ring to avoid losing and Matthews ends up taking a big ladder bump, but Moore comes to and tapes Sami to the ropes allowing Matthews to win. Sami worked the whole match with his jean jacket on and I still have no fucking clue who was the face or heel in this. Again this was bizarre as fuck, but on this show that still probably goes for best match.

 

This show was shit.

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I went to PWS Anniversary Show Night One, with every intention of going to Night Two, especially since PWS runs like a half hour from my house. But me and my friend thought Night One was so dreadful, we didn't even bother. This despite the fact that we didn't pay to get in, since we got there a half hour late and nobody bothered to make us buy a ticket, and despite missing the opening match, which was some Davey Richards tag team match that both of us would have likely hated, and despite Vader vs Scorpio being on the first show.

 

To make matters worse, we're both Mets fans and we missed the first no hitter in Mets history to attend that debacle.

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Honestly, I don't remember. My friend and I were checking our phones since Johan Santana was pitching the ninth inning of the no hitter when Vader vs Scorp hit the ring. Figures I miss out on that match and not the shitty Mil Mascaras match.

 

Actually, I do remember one other thing from that show, which was an amazing eight man tag you should check out, with Star Man, two other dudes, and Koko B. Ware vs. The Sheik, two other dudes, and GEORGE SOUTH. For some reason, PWS brings in George South, I assume pays the man trans from North Carolina or wherever the fuck he lives now, doesn't advertise him (not that George South would have sold even a single ticket, but still, if you're going to pay a man trans to work your show, you might as well let people know he's going to be on the card) and then does like 2 minutes of mic work, then he and Koko don't do a single thing in the eight man tag, don't tag in, don't take a bump, nothing. I was in awe of it all.

 

And let me know the next time you're up this way. I'm always down for an indy adventure.

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